Barnsley boss Lee Johnson has called for his misfiring team to bounce back with a welcome win against Bradford City tonight.
The Reds, who have lost their last two games, turn their attentions to the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy this evening, with the Bantams standing in their way of a place in the area quarter-finals.
Last Tuesday’s second round tie at the Coral Windows Stadium had to be postponed because of a waterlogged pitch – and Johnson remains confident his side are within touching distance of a win despite Saturday’s frustrating 2-1 home loss to Crewe.
“We do really feel that we’re set up to go on a run,” said Johnson. “We can see we’re doing a lot right, but we’re also doing little bits wrong, it’s fine margins.
“If we were getting results everybody would accept this is our style of play, but we aren’t, we’re in a transitional phase.
“I think there are times when we need to get the ball in the box quickly and get numbers there.
“The fans are the most important people at the football club and I sense they are frustrated.
“I’m here to make them happy so we will work very hard on the bits they want to see.
“If we had won against Crewe myself and the players would have come away heroes at the passing and moving we did.”
And Johnson sees the JPT as a good distraction from domestic duty to get back to winning ways.
“We want to win every game and, as the rounds go on, people’s opinions change,’ admitted Johnson.
“Wembley is a fantastic day out, I’ve been fortunate enough to play there and this is a realistic chance for a club like us to get there. The players know that, they want to go out there and get through.
“We know who we will play [York City] if we beat Bradford, it’s good to get a home match if we get through but we need to focus on Bradford. We have to put right some wrongs from the weekend.”
Meanwhile, Reds midfielder Ben Pearson has called for his teammates to use Saturday’s annoyance at losing to Crewe as ammunition for victory over Bradford this evening.
“Everyone was annoyed in the changing room and the manager was obviously annoyed,” admitted Manchester United loanee Pearson.
“When you dominate so much and lose a game like that, it’s hard to take.
“I think the first thing is anger and all the players are feeling that and everyone is frustrated and annoyed.
“From the performances we’ve put in though, we’ve played well but we just aren’t winning. I think that will come with time.
“Personally I thought we played well against Crewe and we had them on the back foot.
“We had all the possession and the chances, but losing games is just one of those things.
“I think Crewe would have been happy with a draw before they came here and they set out for that really.
“Once we went 1-1, I thought we’d get to play but it just wasn’t meant to be as they scored a lucky goal in the end and we just weren’t able to break them down.
“But hopefully we can put that right and get a good win against Bradford.”